Minnie Driver: ‘I did not have the appetite to be a big movie star’April 3, 2021
The British actor shot to fame in Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon, but didn’t fit the Hollywood mould – and she’s fine with that
Minnie Driver first realised the film industry might be a strange place for a woman who didn’t fit its tiny mould when she was standing in some mud. A ditch, in fact, that had been dug for her, on a hill, so that she looked shorter than the actor she was snogging. “I was hock high in a bog, as they say in Ireland,” she says merrily, in an accent that instantly reminds me of that scene in Good Will Hunting where she tells a dirty joke and spits out her drink. This was on a different film, the first but not the last time it happened. She was young, new to the game. “I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, this is just bananas – can’t he stand on something? Or why don’t we both sit down and shoot it like that?’” But it had to be her, “in the earth, trying to be romantic and sexy when there’s mud squishing through your lace-ups”.
We are talking over video chat, Driver from her family home in London, to which she has temporarily decamped after decades away in Los Angeles. She apologises for how nice she looks, the sort of apology that can only be made after a year in lockdown. “I’m only dolled up like this because I just did the photoshoot,” she explains. “And my fucking phone, the facial recognition thing wouldn’t recognise me. It was like, ‘Where’s the hag who usually opens the phone? Who’s this person?’ I often feel insulted by my own phone, but that was legendary.”